Buffalo: Erin Go Bracket

By David Scott - March 17, 2007

BUFFALO - Welcome back to the HSBC Arena and Happy St. Patrick's day. We're about 80 minutes from tip (3:20 p.m. EST) of our first, second-round game between No. 4 seed Maryland (ACC) and No. 5 seed Butler (Horizon). The night cap here in The Buff will be No. 3 seed Pittsburgh (Big East) and No. 11 seed VCU (CAA), which should tip somewhere in the 5:50 p.m. vicinty.

[Quick programming note: The NCAA provided $30 per day wireless access is brutally slow today to the point of dysfunctionality. We're having all sorts of issues and the telecommuncations whizzes don't get on the clock until 3 p.m., so there's no telling when and if we'll be able to post. We don't mean to moan and whine, but the NCAA set themselves up for this when they decided to gouge the media members who needed wireless access. It's a crying shame from where we sit.]

. . . Butler (28-6) and Maryland (25-8) have never met before but the Terps are 11-5 vs. Horizon League opponents.

. . . Maryland took the floor at 2:15 p.m. for some stretching and running. The Terps bands and cheerleaders, all in pre-game prep, saluted their heroes. Butler emerged about five minutes later when shooting was allowed.

The Bulldogs are in their black road uniforms with white shooting jereseys on. Maryland is in the home whites with red shooting jerseys.

. . . We spent some time at the Maryland team hotel (the Adam's Mark) last night watching the late games and abusing our livers and there were a few worthwhile scenes to relay after the jump:

* Several of the Terps played cards in the game-viewing area off the lobby before and after going to watch Butler tape. The Terps appeared loose and after the 10 p.m. tape session they each had personal pizzas from a local pizza joint.

* A fire alarm forced hotel occupants into the lobby for a good 30-45 minutes and Gary Williams was caught in the fire drill and spent the time watching the Villanova-Kentucky game on the big screens.

* Our waiter John was completely shot and tried to force cloudy water upon us. It looked like it may have come from one of the nearby overflowing creeks (or "cricks" as our bag-checking friend Arthur at the HSBC calls them). We longed to have Betsy the waitress serve us but she was much too wise to get near our sorry butts. She was kind enough to find John for us on several occassions to let him know his table was parched (for beer, not cloudy water).

Butler's junior guard A.J. Graves is the third member of his family to go to the NCAA Tournament with the Bulldogs and the first to post a Tournament victory. His older brothers, current assistant coach Matthew and Andrew were members of the 1997 and 1998 tournament teams. Andrew was alos part of the 2000 Bulldog team.

. . . Butler is 20-0 this seaosn when holding an opponent under 60 points. The Bulldogs lead the NCAA in fewest turnovers per game with 9.4.

. . . Our pre-St. Patty's Day game prep finished off last night (early this morning) at the wonderful Century Bar on Pearl Street. Our barkeeps, Mo (Maureen) and Adam were worth the price of admission (free) and entertained all morning long. No Flaming Mo shots, but plenty of PBR in a can, which is one of the Tournament's un-official adult beverages of choice.

. . . The Hang Time room at the Hyatt was plagued by a loudly gurgling sink that belched and bellowed at random times throughout the day and night. Fortunately we were able to get a room switch from the courteous Victor Liberta who rewarded our patience and pain with a mini-suite complete with remote control CD boom box and a comfy sitting area. Victor also sent up a half-bottle of red win and a fruit and cheese platter.

Gurgling sinks, it turns out, have their advantages. Should you like to experience the gurgle yourself, be sure to request room 1414 at the Buffalo Hyatt.

Posted by David Scott at 02:23 PM on March 17, 2007

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